Before I start this review let me say, if you get the opportunity to see the authors speak about Saga Land – do it. Saga Land is part compendium of the Icelandic sagas, part personal journey and memoir for Gislason. I have to say I loved every minute of this book. I enjoyed learning about Iceland’s history, both in early and recent times. The sagas are fascinating, bloody and filled with honour. Snorri’s history was rich and epic, Gudrun’s saga was haunting and memorable. I could get lost in these stories forever.
Kari’s journey and personal reflections were another highlight. I found myself tearing up when he gets his moment of truth, a moment that the reader slowly builds towards throughout the book. I was surprised at how emotionally invested I found myself in this journey. Richard has a beautiful simplicity in his words – I was hooked on every chapter. The switches between Richard and Kari’s chapters are seamless and I found myself enjoying their two intertwined and complimentary paths. Visually it is a stunning book, a large hard-cover that has gorgeous plates at the beginning and end taken by the boyd on their trip to Iceland and with more images scattered throughout.
Reading Saga Land was a great experience, one I highly recommend taking on yourself. If you enjoy TV and movies like Vikings or the Marvel Series focusing on the Norse Gods, or love the old Norse and Greek myths, this book is definitely for you. Saga Land is a new favourite of mind and I now I’ll also be off to read Ghost Empire, Fidler’s book on the Empire of Constantinople. Do yourself a favour and read Saga Land.